[NABS-L] access to NFB training centers

Maura Loberg mauraloberg at gmail.com
Mon Jun 29 01:05:58 UTC 2020

I would highly recommend the Colorado Center for the Blind. I am about to graduate from there and it was a great experience. Please let me know if you need help!

Maura J. Loberg
Nebraska Wesleyan University, class of 2024
| Nebraska Association of Blind Students

> On Jun 28, 2020, at 12:54 PM, Kenia Flores-Student via NABS-L <nabs-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hi Jorge,
> First, congratulations on your decision to pursue training! It will be an incredibly worthwhile investment in yourself and in your future.
> I am currently a student at the Louisiana Center for the Blind, and I would be more than happy to help you navigate the process. I am not from Florida, but the process is generally the same. I strongly suggest you do as much research as you can prior to beginning the process because you will more than likely encounter pushback from your rehab agency at some point.
> Typically, you will express to your vocational rehabilitation counselor that you desire to attend a training center. As you mentioned, they typically recommend you attend the center in your state. Similarly, to you, I did not believe the training center in my state was going to provide me with the training I desired. Your counselor will ask you to write a justification letter which will describe your reasons and motivations for pursuing training. Most counselors have specific questions they wish for you to answer, so make sure you ask exactly what he or she is looking for in the letter. Just as an example, I was adamant I wanted to attend a structured discovery center, so that was a significant part of my letter. Additionally, your counselor will want to understand how training ties into your employment/career goals, so you will want to make sure you are able to articulate that. You mentioned lack of training is contributing to your "poor" academic performance, so you could use that as an example in which training will benefit you.
> Once you submit the letter, your counselor and his or her supervisor typically staff your case. They often have follow-up questions, so don’t be alarmed if that happens. I made sure to communicate any developments with Pam Allen, the Executive Director at LCB in the event I needed any advice. It’s difficult to say what happens next because each counselor and client are different, but my best advice is to remain persistent throughout the process. Make sure you follow-up with your counselor/rehab agency frequently.
> While you are working with your counselor, you will also want to talk to the executive director or admissions coordinator at the training center you desire to attend. They will give you an overview of the process and will serve as a resource for you as your request goes through your rehab agency. You will be asked to complete a short application on their website which expresses your desire to attend their center.
> I hope this was of some help to you. If you or anyone on this list have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out off list.
> Best,
> Kenia
> Kenia A. Flores
> She/Her/Hers
> Furman University ‘20
> Department of Politics & International Affairs
> 2nd Vice President | National Association of Blind Students
> (704) 476-6629
> Kenia.flores at furman.edu
> -----Original Message-----
> From: NABS-L <nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org> On Behalf Of Jorge Alejandro Paez via NABS-L
> Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2020 11:24 PM
> To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
> Cc: Jorge Alejandro Paez <iamjorgeapaez94 at gmail.com>
> Subject: [NABS-L] access to NFB training centers
> Hello everyone:
> I find myself in the following predicament at the moment.
> 2 years ago I applied to go to an NFB training center and was denyed, isntead being sent up to a center here in Florida which other than a very good O&M instructor, had nothing good about it.
> It was a total waste of time, but I also had a lot of health issues going on at the time that I needed to take care of, so between what i was experiencing and the realization that I wasn’t doing anything worth my time I withdrew.
> Now the issues have been resolved but I’m doing extremely poorly in school and I know it’s because of lack of skills.
> Skills that I could learn at an NFB training center.
> However the last time I tried to lobby them for this I was alone, and wasn’t really connected with the NFB.
> Now I am though.
> So my question is who can I contact from the NFB to help me out?
> I already reached out to my state president but she’s not helpful at all.
> She sent me a document that I had used to present my first case but offered no more help than that, and this being Florida where we have our own state-controlled center I need help overcoming that objection.
> Is there anyone that can help me?
> I’m aware COVID has greatly reduced or shut down our center’s capabilities, however because it takes such a long time for DBS to do anything, plus the fact that I realized today I can no longer continue in school lacking these skills, I want to start advocating for this, and I know strength in numbers counts.
> Please let me know who I should contact, if there is someone specific or any recommendations you may have.
> Thanks,
> Jorge
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